Cape Town CBD already scoring from World Cup

The continuing boom in Cape Town’s CBD is evidenced by the fact that Seeff CBD area specialist Liza Snijman single-handedly negotiated R12.36m of apartment resales in 5 weeks. Says Ian Slot, MD of Seeff’s City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard branches: “This is a remarkable achievement for a solo agent working on her own. As recorded in the Residential Property Price Ranger (RPPR), she has now achieved 23% of the market share in the area. Because she is so in demand now, Liza will soon have a partner working with her and her PA. This certainly reflects ongoing and increasing interest in Cape Town and its CBD, which is apparent in sales, resales and rentals.”

Snijman says she made her recent sales to a mixed bag of people, and that there is already major interest around the 2010 Football World Cup: “Three sales out of the eight that I made were to foreigners who bought specifically as investments for 2010. They want to rent the apartments out – and so do the local buyers. Only about three of those eight sales were bought for the buyers themselves to live in – the rest are for investment and rental and to hold on to long term. Everyone is getting very excited and drawn in about 2010.”

She outlines the market in the CBD and its various ‘pockets’. “For example, around Roeland Street there are 7 or 8 new developments, and they are young, chic, hip and happening! This area is very positive for investment purposes. The CBD has already earned the reputation of being the highest demand area in Cape Town for rental returns. The CBD is reasonably highly priced – the new resale developments are selling for R16 000 to R18 000 per m2 and up to R26,000 per m2 in Mandela Rhodes and Metropolis – but they are selling.”

New to the CBD horizon is Metropolis, the latest offering from renowned architect Arthur Quinton. This development was sold out off plan, and resales are already taking place, despite only a few floors being ready for occupation. Situated alongside Harbouredge, Metropolis is architecturally rich in its use of design and texture. Says Quinton of his building: “If you’re looking for some tarted up, pseudo-colonial inner-city conversion, I’m afraid you’ve got the wrong address”. Set in trendy De Waterkant, 14 floors of glass, steel, brick and sheer industrial brilliance have been crafted by Quinton for “style-starved and imitation-weary loft-seekers”, using a palette of red brick, charcoal metalwork, raw concrete, and ultra-violet neon.

The interiors have been crafted by Cori Quinton to make each space unique, with plenty of scope for individual flair. In keeping with the industrial theme, floor to ceiling height is voluminous. Off-shutter concrete ceilings are flanked by red-brick walls, while open-plan design allows spaces to flow into one another. Bathroom walls stop short of the ceiling and are completed in glass, allowing natural light to flow right through each unit. Compact, state of the art imported Italian kitchens offer every modern convenience and a variety of finishes and colours. Materials include stainless-steel, high gloss or matt doors and sand-blasted glass. Slick white or grey worktops complete the picture. Says Cori: “This is a building for individuals, so each apartment is just that – individual”.

Snijman says there is a show flat now available for viewing. The two-bedroom apartments are priced from R2m up, with the one-bedroom units (which are a generous 68 m2) fetching R1.1m-1.2m. “Every single apartment has a balcony, and whether you are facing the harbour or the mountain, they all have a great view. The developer has designed the building off square, so that it catches the last rays of the sun.”

Metropolis is right next to Heritage Site The Fireman’s Arms, and new development Dockside slots in next to it. However, this will not affect Metropolis and its views, since none of the walls facing the Dockside site have windows.

Notwithstanding her recent success, Snijman stresses that the property market in the CBD is essentially a buyers’ market, and that sales only happen when the price is realistic. “It’s all very well that sellers expect maximum returns, but they will not succeed when and if they become unrealistic. It is most definitely a buyer’s market – there is a lot of stock out there. Serious sellers are selling their properties – correctly priced properties are moving.”

She says that people are always asking her whether they should buy in the City, and whether the City is “viable”. “I take them outside and I say, turn around and look at the mountain, turn again and look at the harbour and Waterfront, turn that way and look at Signal Hill, and the other way and see Devil’s Peak. Do you know of any other city in the whole of South Africa – or even the world – that is like this.

Article by: Seeff Properties from www.eprop.co.za